Shepherd’s Pi


Your sheep need to be brought in to be fed and only your team’s robot can help! You must gather your flock but avoid the wolves who would just love the chance to be trapped inside the enclosure with your precious animals!


To collect all the sheep in your arena and place them in the sheep enclosure without also collecting the wolves within the time limit.

Control method

Remote Control or Autonomous.

Time limit

5 minutes.

Example run


  • You must add markings to your arena for your “barn” – this is the starting position of your robot and measures 500mm by 325mm and is located in the bottom-left corner of your arena.
  • Your robot must initially be positioned in the middle of the barn.
  • Your robot must start facing the left-hand wall so that it must turn to “find” the sheep.
  • You must additionally build an Enclosure for your sheep in the top-right corner of your arena – this is where the sheep must be shepherded to and measures 750mm by 300mm. The walls of your enclosure must be 75mm tall.
  • You will add to your arena 6 sheep and 3 wolf “playing pieces”. These will be of a specific size and placed in specific locations. The “picture side” of your playing pieces should face the bottom wall of the arena so that they all face the same way.
  • The sheep playing pieces are cuboids measuring:
    • Width: 150mm
    • Depth: 75mm
    • Height: 75mm
  • The wolf playing pieces are standees. The top part is a rectangle measuring 100mm wide by 150mm tall. There is then a cross-foot to the piece which is also 100mm wide.

  • The details of what appears on the surface of the playing pieces is left up to you. (This means that, for autonomous solutions, you could make them a specific colour or place markers for your vision-enabled robot to spot). You may also attach photographs of actual sheep and wolves to your pieces. There are bonus points for this last option.
  • Optional: your enclosure may have a latched gate that will need opening and closing. An example design for such a latch will be provided. There will be additional points available for:
    • Unlatching and opening the gate (optional – your gate may already be open).
    • Closing and latching the gate after all the sheep are inside the enclosure.
  • You must collect or otherwise move the sheep and place them/move them inside the enclosure. (See here for an explanation of agricultural sheep enclosures/pens)
  • You may use any method to persuade your sheep to enter your enclosure.
  • A sheep is counted as “inside” if the majority of the sheep is past the gate or opening.
  • You must avoid collecting the wolves and placing them inside the enclosure, although your robot is permitted to move the wolves if necessary, but see below for penalities.
  • You must avoid “killing” the sheep or wolves by knocking the pieces over, with associated penalties applying.
  • Sheep must finish on the floor of the enclosure to be counted as safe and they must be “the right way up” (otherwise you’ve killed them).
  • You must aim to complete the entire course three times within the five minute limit. This includes resetting the playing pieces by hand and returning your robot to the barn (remembering that the robot should face the left wall each time).
  • If you are running the course autonomously, your robot can return to your barn autonomously to give you extra time to reset the playing pieces.
  • The clock will not be stopped during the reset (to make it easier for the Judges and to give a more accurate timing).
  • Your whole three runs (and the resetting process) must be videoed in a single, continuous take. This shows us that you are able to complete the three runs consistently.
  • You may have additional camera angles as picture-in-picture for added entertainment value!
  • The clock will start when your robot first moves and stops when the last sheep on your third run is inside your enclosure and (optionally) the gate is latched closed.
  • You may use audio to control your robot but this must be limited to whistles only. A bonus will be awarded for using audio control.

Ranking and points

To be finalised.

  • Points for each sheep successfully delivered into the enclosure. More points are awarded per sheep for attempting the delivery autonomously.
  • Penalty for each wolf delivered into the enclosure.
  • Penalty for “killing” a sheep.
  • Penalty for “killing” a wolf.
  • Bonus points for unlatching and opening the gate each time. More points for doing this autonomously.
  • Bonus points of closing and latching the gate each time. More points for doing this autonomously.
  • Bonus for using a whistle to issue commands to the robot.
  • Bonus points for autonomously using photographic recognition of both the sheep and the wolves.

The Real World


To be completed.